AMD’s upcoming budget Ryzen 3 processors will reportedly feature different CCX layouts, which could alter how these chips perform within gaming PCs. Both CPUs, the Ryzen 3 3100 and Ryzen 3 3300X, will come with four cores and eight threads, but these could be distributed differently across the silicon within each chip.
If you’re not familiar with AMD’s Zen 2 architecture on a chiplet level (and who can blame you), then here’s a quick rundown. There are two types of chip within each Zen 2 CPU: a CCD, which is manufactured on TSMC’s 7nm process and contains the actual processing cores themselves; and the cIOD, which is manufactured on GlobalFoundries’ 12nm node and contains all the chip I/O.
Within the CCD are core clusters, nicknamed CCXs. Each CCX can contain up to four cores each—for a total of eight cores per CCD. With just one CCD within a CPU, AMD can offer up to eight cores. With two CCDs, it can offer up to the 16 cores of the Ryzen 9 3950X.
Now where things get interesting with the Ryzen 3 3100 and Ryzen 3 3300X. According to leaked slides published at Tech-Blaze (via KOMACHI_ENSAKA), AMD has chosen to spread these four cores across the CCXs in different ways.
The Ryzen 3 3300X will feature four cores on a single CCX, which means it should have less latency between the cores and therefore less latency overall. That’s important for gaming performance.
The Ryzen 3 3100 meanwhile will feature two cores per CCX, which will likely make for slightly slower performance beyond its lower frequencies.
The Ryzen 3 3300X will feature a 3.8GHz base clock and 4.3GHz boost clock, and will cost $120 when it launches next month. The Ryzen 3 3100 will be a tad slower at 3.6GHz base and 3.9GHz boost, but also a touch cheaper at $99.
It’s a smart move on AMD’s part to divvy up cores between CCXs this way. The change allows the company to bin and sell all of its CCD chiplets, regardless of whether any number of cores, in any configuration, are faulty. Where faulty cores are spotted can decide whether a CCD chip will be slotted into a Ryzen 3 3300X or a Ryzen 3 3100.
So it’s all rather impressive, if true, and once again demonstrates the flexibility of the Zen 2 chiplet architecture that has so far helped AMD offer high core counts for less cash. Now it’s helping the red team offer low core counts for a great price, too. Early benchmarks suggest these two chips will offer performance rivalling Intel’s 7th Gen Core i7 7700K. That puts them in line for the budget pick in the best CPU for gaming guide—but perhaps Intel’s Core i3 10100 will have something to say about that.